Of doctors and computers

26 01 2014

Scottish Wife and I have been in Guayabitos for three weeks now, about an hour north of Puerto Vallarta and considerably further from the fog bound Comox Valley. Please don’t think I’m being smug here: smug is a term more properly applied to our fellow hotel guests who hail from Winnipeg and points east and who have swapped -40 degree wind chill temperatures for +28. Those guys are positively brimming with smugness.

Leaving the balmy weather aside (along with the white sandy beaches, the palm trees swaying in the breeze and the 12 peso beers), I don’t want to give the impression that life is a bed of roses here. There’s always something to complain about. In my case it’s the internet access, or lack of, here at the otherwise impeccable Hotel Loma Linda. I don’t want to say I’m an obsessive, but it’s very hard for me to go through an entire day without an update from the world of sport. Whether it’s the latest news from the hockey pool (encouraging), Southampton FC (mixed) or the England cricket team’s tour of Australia (disappointing verging on humiliating) I need to know how things stand so I can enjoy the rest of my day. To put it kindly, however, our internet access thus far has been somewhat patchy.

And talking of patchy, yesterday I woke up with what seemed like a bunch of mosquito bites on my back. All part of the rich tapestry of life in Mexico, I thought, and headed off to the beach. There we bumped into our friend Kathy, who immediately said ” I don’t think those are mosquito bites, Dave. I think you’ve got shingles.” Like many males I have blind faith that medical ailments will tend to sort themselves out if just left well alone, but as soon as we got back to the hotel Scottish Wife went to look up the symptoms of shingles on the computer. Sure enough, the internet was down again. By now, however, SW was in full Dr Julie mode and sent me off down the street in search of a doctor. I quickly found a shingle (a sign! a sign!) above an alleyway next to a restaurant saying “Dr Vladimir Muñoz Valles, Médico”. I looked high and low, but for the life of me I could not see any sign of a doctor’s office. After a few minutes, a waiter from the restaurant came out to ask if I needed help. He said the doctor was away in Guadalajara but would be back later tonight. I was somewhat surprised that he knew so much about the doctor’s comings and goings, but wrote a note on a piece of paper he gave me, asking the doctor to phone our hotel and, if possible, give me an appointment on Monday.

Back at the Loma Linda, there was still no luck with the internet, but we were assured that it would be sorted out soon and that a technician would come round to each room if necessary to enter the new hotel code. And so, at 8.00 this morning (Sunday) I wasn’t totally surprised when there was a knock at the door and a young man in a green tee shirt presented himself. “Ah, gracias, gracias,” I said, and pointed to the computer on the table. He seemed a little confused, so I said helpfully ” Computadora?” “Ah, no,” came the reply. “Soy doctor”.

Five minutes later the diagnosis was confirmed – shingles (or ‘herpes’, as it is somewhat embarrassingly called in Spanish) – his call out charge (400 pesos, about $35) had been paid and  I had a prescription for the necessary meds. That’s not quite the end of the story, however. An hour later, having picked up the meds from the nearest pharmacy, I found myself walking past the restaurant by the doctor’s sign again. And who should I see behind the restaurant counter? Dr Muñoz himself, still in the same green tee shirt, and smiling at me as if it was the most natural thing in the world for a doctor to be making a home call to a patient one minute and then serving breakfast in the family restaurant the next.

Doble dipping, Mexican style. (Seriously, can you imagine a Canadian doctor making house calls and then heading off to work in the family restaurant?)

 

When I got back to the hotel the receptionist wanted to know how I was (it’s apparently an unwritten rule at the Loma Linda that everybody who works there knows absolutely everything about your personal life). “Bien, bien”, I said, and told her how impressed I was that a doctor would make a house call to a stranger at 8.00 on a Sunday morning, charge only $35 and then go back to his other job, serving omelettes and huevos rancheros. “I can’t imagine that happening in Canada,” I said. “Ah, señor David,” said Maira with a smile. “En Méjico, todo es posible! In Mexico, everything is possible!”

Que les vaya bien, amigos!

Dave B.

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12 responses

26 01 2014
Martin

So! Not only were you having to deal with lack of bytes but also an excess of bites (at least you that that initially). Thank God that not only does the Flying Doctor system happen in Oz but in Mexico too. Thanks for the update Dave and have a
great rest of the holiday.

26 01 2014
Bagger Dave

Outstanding pun, Martin! Stu Power (King of Puns) will have to look to his laurels…

26 01 2014
Robinski

Good to hear from you again Dave. It is foggy and cold here so I envy your climate choice. I will mention to my son that Doctors in Mexico also work in restaurants. By the way, stay on top of those shingles. They can be very persistent and uncomfortable. Look forward to seeing you soon.

26 01 2014
Bagger Dave

Thanks Robin. Nice as it is here, I miss you guys at Glacier Greens. Entire days go by here without me giving or receiving a single insult. Hard to believe, eh?

26 01 2014
Bud Bryan

Sorry to hear about your shingles Dave. Didn’t DR. Bryan tell you to get a shot for them before you left? Better in Mexico than in the States, there it would have cost you an arm & a leg for medical. Are you playing an golf down there? Have a rum & coke for me while Watching the Seahawk next Sunday.

26 01 2014
Bagger Dave

I remember Dr Bryan telling me to take some shots, but I’m pretty sure you were talking about shots of tequila. I’ll pass on the NFL game (aka Girls Rugby) on Sunday, but I’ll certainly go for the rum and coke.

26 01 2014
Bill Village

Dave, rest assured that you have still been receiving more than your fair share of insults back here – even in your absence. I’ve tried to defend you – okay, that was a lie. I think the fog has actually helped my game. Just stepping up and hitting it in some vague direction has somehow produced favourable results lately. I hope you can rid yourself of that STD sooner than later. We’re off on Feb. 8th and I’ll see you in early April. Take care.
Bill

26 01 2014
Bagger Dave

Certainly appreciate you leaving the day we get back, Bill. Nothing personal though, eh? Thanks also for even the pretence of sticking up for me. I’ll do the same for you while you’re away.

26 01 2014
popeyeandjane@shaw.ca

Hello David aka: “Shingles”..You had to mention the fog in Comox didn’t you. Well Lennie Doyle and his Scottish wife have been trying to get to Puerto Vallarta for two sleeps now. All WestJet flights in and out for the past three day’s (cancelled) Same thing each day, hang around the terminal for two or three hours have a $10.00 lunch on them and hear the speaker announce that all WestJet flights in and out of Comox have been cancelled. Go home and call their 800 number after 7 pm for update. Make a pre-arranged call to our son and daughter-in-law who flew out of Vancouver and have been at our resort since noon on Saturday. Then to be hit me the news that they had spent the after noon on the beach with Wally and Trudy Berger drinking a mixture of Mexican cocktails and running into the ocean to cool off. We will be giving it another try tomorrow. The good news is that WestJet have offered extra time in P.V. at no charge. We make take advantage of their offer or we may see you at the airport on the 8th and David and please no handshake or hugs. Not sure if shingles are contagious ???.

26 01 2014
Bagger Dave

What a tale of woe, Lennie. If I don’t see you on the 8th let me know what day you’ll be back and I’ll come and pick you up. Shingles are not contagious, but I promise not to hug you anyway.

28 01 2014
mapike2013

Hope it soon clears up and isn’t too painful. I’m sure the weather will help! Enjoy the sunshine while your old country slowly disappears beneath the waters!

28 01 2014
Bagger Dave

It’s really not painful at all, Maryanne, though I’m upping my intake of margaritas to ensure my fluid levels remain high. At least Dorset’s only a tad damp. Comox lies under a blanket of fog, apparently, and everywhere east of the Rockies is enduring sub zero temperatures. All in all, I think we’re in the right place…

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